An IFA delegation led by President John Bryan has left the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney in no doubt that farmers who have been denied an agri-environment scheme, expect an early announcement on a new AEOS scheme open to all farmers to be a priority for the Minister.
The Minister was told by the IFA delegation at yesterday’s meeting that there could be no more cuts to farm schemes, and an AEOS scheme for all farmers leaving REPS3 must be provided. He said, “Many low-income farmers, especially along the Western seaboard, depend on agri environment payments to support their income, which has already been decimated by the closure of REPS and cuts to other schemes.”
John Bryan said the commitment by the Minister to open the AEOS3 at the end of July and accept applications up to the end of September must be matched with a scheme open to all farmers who have lost a substantial part of their income since finishing their REPS contract. He said, “It is critical that Ireland has a meaningful scheme, in the context of CAP reform and securing full Pillar 2 Rural Development funding.”
The IFA President said direct payments make most of the income of drystock farmers and AEOS will make up some of the losses that farmers have faced since REPS was closed 3 years ago